Earlier today we covered a mobile social network called Buzzd, which will be featured at the music festival Bonnaroo. In this post we outline 10 mobile social networks to keep your eyes on. It’s a developing field – and there are issues such as hardware compatibility to overcome – but we expect some of these services to make a big impact in the next year or two. Because, as Sarah Perez recently noted, with 975 million mobile web users expected by 2012, this is a potentially very lucrative market.
Editor’s note: Looking back over 2008, there were some posts on ReadWriteWeb that did not get the attention we felt they deserved – whether because of timing, competing news stories, etc. So in this end-of-year series, called Redux, we’re resurrecting some of those hidden gems. This is one of them, we hope you enjoy (re)reading it!
Of course our list is subjective, so please leave a comment if we missed one of your favorites. Also let us know your thoughts on social networks going mobile. We’ve written before that MySpace, Facebook, and MSN are the leading mobile services – and March stats indicated that MySpace is the leader. But surely there will be one or two unknowns who rise to capture this nascent market. So with that in mind, here we go…
Dada is a mobile SNS that enables users to update personal
blogs with pictures and video, download mobile entertainment, connect with and meet other
local singles in real time and stay in contact with all their friends. Dada can be used
on both PC and mobile, and dada.net is its portal
destination page. The 3 main products within the portal are Dada Dating, Dada Life
(personal space and social networking), and Mobile
Recommendations company Strands started out as a music discovery mobile social networking service. Its mobile features include a mobile Web portal, a personalized radio station, and a personal version of partyStrands (its service for party organizers,
bars, clubs and DJs). Strands’ mobile social networking service basically enables its users to find music and network with their friends via their mobile phones.
The itsmy.com mobile community wants to be
MySpace for your phone. By connecting people and content in both the U.S. and
E.U., itsmy has already gathered up more than 1 million registered mobile users
with 4 million mobile home and content pages and continues to grow. Recently,
itsmy announced they’ve now launched 100,000 personal mobile TV channels – one
for each of its top 10% of content-uploading customers.
In April mobile social networking company Frengo released a toolkit for development of Open Social and Facebook applications on mobile phones. The Open Social Mobile Toolkit supports MySpace, Hi5, Bebo, and Facebook and allows developers of applications on those networks to extend them to the mobile phone. In addition to extending support for the Open Social and Facebook platforms to the mobile phone, the Frengo toolkit allows developers to monetize applications via the company’s social advertising platform or via premium SMS.
In July 2007 Nokia acquired the media sharing service Twango. Twango combines online storage with social networking, allowing users to organize and share photos, videos and other personal media. ReadWriteWeb wrote an in-depth profile of Twango in January ’07, in a post entitled Twango Tackles Lucrative Media Sharing Market. Nokia planned to use Twango to enable users to share multimedia content through their desktop and mobile devices.
Shozu is not strictly speaking a social network, but it enables you to share your videos and photos via your mobile phone – e.g. from your Flickr account, YouTube, Facebook. RWW reader Honor said in a past post that “it allows me to send the pictures I take with my n80 to Facebook and share with my friends, or email people pictures while I am at an event, shopping for stuff for them etc…”
The final 4 services are from Corvida’s post on ReadWriteWeb entitled: The Future of Mobile Social Networks: 4 Promising Services
We recently profiled Brightkite as a winning mobile social network in the arena. Brightkite allows for your network of friends to keep track of where others may be at any moment. Since no GPS is required, users can send updates to the service via text messaging or email, to update their profile with location updates, pictures, and notes. With a host of privacy settings to prevent any form of stalking, Twitter users are increasingly using the network to update friends with status locations sent to their Twitter streams. Brightkite may be one of the best mobile networks to use, especially when going to a conference or big event in town.
Taking a different approach from Brightkite, Zyb aims to be a mobile contact organizer for your social network. While we already have our address books for this, Zyb looks to provide a way for you to backup and synchronize your contacts online. You can store your phone numbers, calendar and texts, manage this information online, and transfer your information to a new phone if there ever comes a time. You can also use Zyb to find out who has you in their phones as a contact and even discover friends of friends. Think of Zyb as an expansion on your Facebook pictures and contacts, only more mobile.
Groovr is your mobile network’s night out on the town. Post a picture, message, or video to your Groovr profile and have it sent to all your friends too. Instant chat? Groovr’s got you covered. However, some of these features are redundant. Can’t we already send messages, pictures, and videos to our friends without a third party? The only feature we found remotely unique is a city’s Explore page on Groovr. All of your posted items are sent to the corresponding cities Explore page. Here’s a peek at San Francisco on Groovr:
Developed by MoBlast Technologies, Fon11 could become the hottest mobile social network for the iPhone. With a nice UI (of course) and great features like the ability to see just how far away your contacts are from you, availability status messages, visibility settings and more, it seems Fon11 has a lot more to offer than the rest of the pack. Fon11 has already been ported to Android and Nokia Web Runtime with development plans in the works for J2ME and Windows Mobile platforms. While GPS remains an issue through no fault of Moblast, we’ve been assured that there are many strategies in development to find a resolution.
We hope you enjoyed this look at 10 interesting and exciting mobile social networks. The information in this post came from a variety of past ReadWriteWeb articles and we will continue to explore this promising market. In the meantime, please list your favorite mobile social networks in the comments below.